|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. To what does Volterra attribute the cult killings at the end of Chapter 8?
2. In Chapter 13, what reason does James think Eliades have for seducing Ann?
3. Where is Del Nearing en route to when she stays with James in Chapter 10?
4. According to Andahl in Chapter 9, what were the words on the boulder?
5. On what topic does James engage his landlord in Chapter 10?
Essay Topic 1
In The Names, Don DeLillo has created a central mystery - the mystery of the cult - in which clues and revelations are annoyingly amorphous and cannot necessarily be trusted. Write an essay about the subjectivity of truth in the novel, focusing on three pieces of information that James Axton gleans in his investigation. Where does this information come from? What is James's attitude towards it? Does he think that it is ultimately trustworthy?
Essay Topic 2
Write an essay about the character of Frank Volterra. What is his connection to the Axtons, and how does he find himself in the search of the language cult? Discuss how DeLillo paints Volterra with a different brush that the other characters. Is he, in essence, a caricature of the temperamental auteur director? How does Del Nearing's attachment to Volterra humanize him to a certain point?
Essay Topic 3
The world of The Names is one in which truth and facts are subjective. One can never be certain what is real and what is imagined. As such, there are a plethora of ambiguous characters in the novel. Write an essay about three such characters, discussing what they appear to be and what they are. How is the narrative affected by each of these characters? What deceptions do they perpetrate, and to what end? Is each characters' objectives identified by the end of the novel?
Part 1) Eliades
Part 2) Rowser
Part 3) Andahl
This section contains 2,377 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)